Level of Detail
Alters the level of detail seen with certain elements in a given scene.
The Medium setting offers slightly more detail on the palm trees than with Low and not much else; High shows increased detail in the light fixtures, the metallic structure on the left pole, the wall behind the distance palm trees, and various other items in the scene; Ultra mostly just offers better lighting in the lower area in the house to the far right. Taken as a whole, the differences are extremely subtle.
Testing reveals a slight increase to average framerate as this setting is lowered but no definitive effect on maximum framerate. The visual improvements with the higher settings are minute, so if you're looking for extra frames, keep this setting at Low.
This ever important option controls the appearance of jagged edges (jaggies) seen on various surfaces throughout the game.
The screenshots show FXAA brings its sometimes very aggressive anti-aliasing style to the table: there's very little in the way of jaggies to be seen, but it comes at the cost of significant blur. SMAA, meanwhile, is much more measured: a little aliasing can be observed, but the scene is much sharper, which most should prefer. Disabled, the amount of aliasing isn't extreme by any means, but most will want SMAA instead.
The benchmark shows anti-aliasing has a significant impact – about 15 FPS -- on maximum framerate at each level, and a minor impact to average framerate. If you have plenty of headroom to spare on maximum framerate, SMAA is the way to go. Otherwise, leave this setting off for a major boost at a minor visual cost.
Said to affect the quality and sharpness of textures, although it's impossible to notice in these screenshots and in general.
Corresponding to the lack of visual differences, there are no definitive performance differences seen when changing this setting, excepting a minor bump to average FPS when lowering the setting from High to Medium or from Medium to Low. If you need a little bump, keeping this setting at Low will provide that at little to no visual cost. If you can spare a little, keep it at High to be on the safe side.
This setting is supposed to alter the sharpness of textures, namely when they are viewed from a distance or an angle, but as with Texture Quality, it's impossible to notice anything definitive in these screens or in general.
Again, in line with the lack of visual differences, performance is pretty well the same across the board. The only notable change is a 10-15 FPS drop seen when using 4x filtering, even across repeated tests. Why this occurs I can't say, but it's irrelevant anyway, as most if not everyone should be good to use the maximum setting at no cost.
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- Page 1 [Introduction, Testing Setup, & System Requirements]
- Page 2 [Graphics API, Display Mode, Fullscreen Resolution, & Supersampling]
- Page 3 [Level of Detail, Anti-Aliasing, Texture Quality, & Texture Filter]
- Page 4 [SSAO, Shadow Maps, Shadow Resolution, & Final Thoughts]